So I haven’t had much time to critically test the BW Control deck I posted a while back. I’ve been playing on XMage and have made a decent amount of changes to the deck. I’ve taken a new deck list to my most recent FNM and plan to take it again to this week’s FNM. First off I’ll post the new deck list, then highlight why I made the changes, and then I’ll summarize my mediocre performance at FNM and why I’m not terribly worried about it.
I’ll be heading to my local SCG State Championship in just over a week and while I don’t think the BW Control list will be a top performing list I don’t have the cards or time to commit to anything other than switching to BW Eldrazi. I’m not convinced that I’d want to bring BW Eldrazi any more than BW Control and I have a lot more practice with BW Control so I’ll stick to that unless something amazing happens to the meta-game after this weekend’s results. Anyways, on to the deck list:
2 Blighted Fen 2 Westvale Abbey 4 Shambling Vent 2 Forsaken Sanctuary 4 Caves of Koilos 4 Plains 8 Swamp 3 Gideon, Ally of Zendikar 2 Ob Nixilis Reignited 2 Sorin, Grim Nemesis 2 Oath of Gideon 4 Secure the Wastes 4 Grasp of Darkness 1 To the Slaughter 2 Anguished Unmaking 2 Declaration in Stone 3 Read the Bones 2 Ruinous Path 1 Languish 1 Planar Outburst 1 Dark Petition 2 Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim 2 Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet //Sideboard SB: 1 Dark Petition SB: 3 Transgress the Mind SB: 1 Tainted Remedy SB: 2 Pitiless Horde SB: 1 Pick the Brain SB: 3 Hallowed Moonlight SB: 2 Infinite Obliteration SB: 2 Grip of Desolation
I’ll explain a couple note-worthy changes I made. First off is +1 Sorin, Grim Nemesis and -1 Read the Bones. I love the new Sorin. If I’m behind he can sometimes help me stabilize, if I’m ahead his +1 can outright close out a game and give card advantage. With the increase in Sorin I’ve found that I don’t feel I need 4 Read the Bones as one or more often end up as dead cards. This deck hurts, a lot, between Caves of Koilos, Read the Bones, and mostly fending off early aggro with timely removal. Too many Read the Bones just end up feeling too risky to cast.
I dropped all the Accursed Witches – they were a cute play but just too slow to add much value. Instead I tossed in two Ayli, Eternal Pilgrims as she’s an excellent early draw against aggro and maintains value as a blocker later. If she’s on the board she can also protect my tokens from being wiped out by a Declaration in Stone (by sacrificing the targeted token to Ayli and forcing the spell to fizzle). I can’t tell you how great that feels.
I dropped all the Ultimate Prices (though I’ve recently been considering adding one or two back in). They often felt like dead cards as one of the match ups I’ve struggled with the most has been mono-Red Eldrazi. Even outside of this, it feels awful to hold Ultimate Price in hand for multiple turns with no legal targets. In it’s place I added in a To the Slaughter, which has felt okay some of the time and just garbage at other times.
Overall, this deck has felt great against a variety of decks including some near-mirror matches (siding in Tainted Remedy against an opposing Shambling Vents or Ormendahl, Profane Prince is excellent). If I stay on curve with removal against Bant CoCo even that match can stay under control. I haven’t played much against Wu Humans so that could still be problematic. Anyways, let me quickly describe the absurd FNM I played in last week.
Round 1 – Weird Mono Blue Ingest Eldrazi (1-1 draw)
This was a frustrating round. I got matched with someone who didn’t seem to understand why the old mono blue Eldrazi was good and tried to switch gears to running Tide Drifters and Salvage Drones along with much of the old mono blue shell but without Reality Smasher or Thought-Knot Seer. This turned into an incredibly slow set of matches. My opponent also played incredibly slowly. I won game one easily but absolutely got mana screwed in game two but he still took forever to win. In retrospect, I should have scooped game two earlier because I was absolutely crushing in game 3 but we were put into turns when he was still at 16 life and even though I had a Gideon, Ob Nixilis, and Sorin on board I couldn’t win in 3 turns as I didn’t hit a Secure the Wastes. Oh well. I technically conceded to him because our FNM pays out pack-per-win so draws are awful and he didn’t seem like he was going to concede.
Round 2 – Mono Red Eldrazi (0-2)
I got punished for conceding by getting paired up with a 1-0 anyways (and someone who I’d tested against and had a bad record against). I kept opening hands in both games with one or two spot removal, 3-4 lands, and a read the bones. I never saw any other removal spells other than the opening hand in either game and just got run over. It sucked.
Round 3 –
I’ll have to finish the rest of this later as my match notes are at home and I can’t remember what happened. I was obviously getting paired against some weak lists / players but I supposed I did absolutely crush those last two rounds to end the night 2-1-1. I’ll update these descriptions tonight (I hope).
In a completely unrelated note, I’ve been toying with the idea of actually trying to make Brain in a Jar work somehow given the potential for a late-game instant-speed Languish/Planar Outburst/Descent Upon the Sinful or something. I know it’s mostly just “cute” but maybe it could amount to something. Oh, speaking of which, I think Descend Upon the Sinful might be worth considering as one of the things that screwed me in the Mono-Red Eldrazi match was Hangar Back Walkers making Thopters so I couldn’t safely board wipe.